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My favorite memories have all centered around friends and family enjoying a meal together! It might have been a special holiday or a celebration, or it might have been dinner with friends at a great restaurant. I hope you will enjoy some of my favorite recipes and take time to fellowship with those seated at your table. You might make a memory to last forever!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Foolproof Vodka Pie Dough

This is my favorite pie dough, so tender and flaky!

from America's Test Kitchen
Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor — do not substitute.

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Process 1½ cups flour, salt and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening, and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds, and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

For a custard pie or prebaked pie shell, I half this recipe. 

Flour work surface well.  Roll pie dough in a circle to fit your pie pan, with about 1 inch hanging over.  Place in pie plate.  Fold edges under and flute or stamp with tines of a fork. Using fork, poke small holes in crust before baking.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for appx. 25 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool completely before filling.

Tip:  Fold rolled pie crust in half and then in half again.  Place point in center of pie plate and unfold.  Easy way to transfer crust to pie plate.

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